Who won stage 17?
Tadej Pogacar wins stage 17! Tadej Pogacar tugs on the yellow jersey as he crosses the line first! Jonas Vingegaard comes through to finish in second place, with Carapaz third! The GuardianTour de France 2021: Pogacar wins stage 17 atop the Col du Portet – as it happened
Who won stage 18?
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won stage 18, final mountain stage of the race at the Tour de France, on the summit of Luz Ardiden. The overall race leader attacked a small and select group of GC contenders to take the win ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). Cyclingnews.comTour de France 2021: Stage 18 highlights - Video
Did Cavendish make the time cut?
Cavendish survives another time cut Mark Cavendish made it comfortably inside the time cut for stage 17 on the top of the Col du Portet, as he stays in the race and continues to look good at having a shot at breaking the stage winners record when the roads flatten again. Cycling WeeklyFive talking points from stage 17 of the Tour de France 2021
Did Cavendish make the time cut stage 18?
Tour de France latest: Pogacar wins stage 18 as Cavendish makes time cut. ... Mark Cavendish is grinning as he climbs the final 200 metres with five of his teammates. The IndependentTour de France 2021 LIVE: Stage 18 result and reaction as Tadej Pogacar wins again
Eddy Merckx describes Slovenian as ‘new Cannibal’
Officers from France’s Central Office for the Fight against Environmental and Public Health Damage (OCLAESP) have questions about this race, of course, which is why they searched the hotel rooms and vehicles of Mohoric’s Bahrain Victorious team in Pau on Wednesday evening.
And some riders in the peloton, it seems, have questions too. A report in Swiss newspaper Le Temps cited three unnamed riders who expressed concern about “strange noises” emanating from the rear wheels of the bikes of four teams, including yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates squad.
"There is a strange noise. I can hear it while riding. It comes from the rear wheels. A strange metallic noise, like a badly adjusted chain. I've never heard that anywhere," said one rider, according to the report.
“I don’t know. We don’t hear any noise,” Pogačar said. “We don’t use anything illegal. It’s all Campagnolo materials, Bora. I don’t know what to say.”
The written press were then granted only two more questions to Pogačar, who responded glibly to an inquiry about his travel arrangements for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Slovenian is set to ride the road race next Saturday, just five days after he rides into Paris in yellow.
“We will go on Monday, with the plane, because I checked Google maps and you cannot go by car,” Pogačar said. “It doesn’t find the route, so we’ll go in the plane, yes.”
Pogačar carries a lead of some 5:45 over Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) into the penultimate stage of the Tour, a 30.8km time trial from Libourne to Saint Émilion. Last September, he won his debut Tour by overhauling his compatriot Primož Roglič on the corresponding stage to La Planche des Belle Filles, but the 22-year-old has long since divested this Tour of any suspense.
Already winner of the stage 5 time trial in Laval, as well as the mountaintop finishes at the Col du Portet and Luz Ardiden in the Pyrenees, Pogačar will, on the evidence of this race to date, be favourite to notch up a fourth stage victory on Saturday afternoon.
“For tomorrow’s time trial, I will see how I sleep today and how I wake up tomorrow,” Pogačar said. “I go with no stress, no pressure. Of course, I will do my best like I always do, especially in the TTs. We will see what it will bring, but I don’t make any stress about the time trial tomorrow.”
Stage 19 set out from Mourenx, the site of perhaps the defining feat of Merckxism from 1969, and Eddy Merckx was present on the Tour on Friday as a guest of honour. The idea, of course, was that he might be on hand to witness Mark Cavendish overhaul his record of 34 stage wins at the Tour, but the spoils fell to the break rather than the sprinters, postponing Cavendish’s date with destiny to the Champs-Élyées on Sunday evening.
No matter, Merckx was still able to run the rule over a rider whose authority over this Tour has already drawn comparison with the Belgian’s own dominance during his sequence of five overall victories.
“I see in him the new Cannibal,” Merckx said of Pogačar. “He has already won one Tour and normally he will win his second.
“He is extremely strong. I see him winning several editions of the Tour in the coming years. If nothing happens to him, he can certainly win the Tour de France more than five times.”
Merckx later joined Pogačar on the podium in Libourne on Friday afternoon when the Slovenian was presented with his 12th maillot jaune of the Tour. Pogačar, who will also win both the best young rider and king of the mountains classifications in Paris on Sunday, paid tribute to Merckx in a television interview after the ceremony.
“It is huge to stand with Eddy Merckx on the podium. He is a hero in cycling. I don’t consider myself as a hero yet, but I hope I am inspiring lots of kids to ride their bikes,” said Pogačar, who exhibited some of the traits of a Tour patron on stage 19 when he shut down some early attacks in person.
“There were a few crashes and splits at the start of the stage today. It is really not nice to begin a race like this. We then kept the bunch quiet for a bit, but after the sprint we went on full attack mode. It was a pretty strange race. But then a group went away, and the bunch turned quiet again.”
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16 July, 2021 - 02:01pm
16 July, 2021 - 02:01pm
On July 9, as Mark Cavendish, a.k.a. the Manx Missile, approached the final straightaway on Stage 13 of the Tour de France, the British cyclist rose out of his saddle, pushed through a gap in the pack and began to vigorously rock his bike from side to side, tying the record for the most stages ever won (34).
The graceful rocking motion, known in French as "en danseuse," to dance on the pedals, is common among elite cyclists and weekend warriors attacking hills or sprinting toward a finish.
Whether it actually boosts performance, or could even hinder it, has been a matter of debate.
A new CU Boulder study published online this month in the Journal of Biomechanics found the tactic works.
“We found that, on average, maximal power output was 5% higher when our subjects leaned the bike as they pleased compared to when trying to minimize lean,” said lead author Ross Wilkinson, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology.
In a sport where a first-place victory can be gained by the width of a tire and cyclists are constantly searching for marginal gains, a 5% gain in power is a big deal.
“In a race like the Tour, riders will spend the vast majority of their time seated. But in the last few hundred meters of a stage, standing up and rocking the bike can give you that little bit of extra power,” said senior author Rodger Kram, professor emeritus of integrative physiology and director of the Locomotion Laboratory at CU Boulder. “It’s a small but critical piece of bike racing.”
Wilkinson dreamed up the study while watching a previous Tour de France back home in Australia. He noticed that some cyclists, like Cavendish, attacked hills and sprint finishes with the bike swinging at sharp angles. Others, like Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan, seemed to deliberately minimize lean when sprinting out of the saddle.
Some coaches and experts argued that rocking the bike wasted energy and deformed tires, increasing resistance and impairing performance. “Cyclists should decrease bicycle sways,” one 2018 study proclaimed.
But many coaches recommend it and cyclists often say it just comes naturally.
For the study, Kram and Wilkinson rigged a stationary bike in the lab so it could lean from side to side or be locked in place. They brought in 19 recreational cyclists for a series of nine 5-second, all-out sprints. For three of the subjects, they could lean the bike as much as they pleased; for three, the bike was locked in and couldn’t lean at all; and for the remaining three cyclists, they were asked to minimize lean.
When the researchers measured maximum power output, they found it did not differ between the locked-in position (which, realistically, couldn’t be achieved on a bike moving overground outside) and the sway-as-you-like option.
When cyclists deliberately tried to prevent sway, their power decreased by an average of 5%.
“Swaying the bike doesn’t necessarily enhance the power you are capable of producing,” said Kram. “It just allows you to achieve the same peak power over ground as you could locked in during a spinning class.”
Meanwhile, fighting the sway––as cyclists are often forced to do in a packed finish at a race––slows you down, the study suggests.
The researchers suspect that swaying allows the upper body to contribute more power, with skilled riders transferring it from their arms through to the pedal as they "dance." They also suspect that elites like those in the Tour get an even bigger boost than the 5% experienced by mere mortals in the lab.
A 5% power boost doesn’t necessarily translate to a 5% increase in speed, they note, due to air resistance. But swaying could shave off critical seconds when they matter most.
Aside from giving fans one more thing to watch for in the final days of the Tour, as Cavendish seeks to break the record for most stages ever won, they say the research could provide insight to bike designers. Should high-end bikes be made with this benefit of rocking in mind?
For recreational cyclists who train on stationary bikes indoors in the winter, the researchers recommend practicing "en danseuse" if the bike allows you to rock it at an angle.
And when tackling hills or closing in on a finish: Don’t fight the bike. Dance away.
“It feels very rhythmic, like your arms and legs and the bike are all in sync,” said Wilkinson. “When people like Mark Cavendish get it right, it’s really beautiful to watch.”
CU Boulder Today is created by Strategic Relations and Communications.
Any campus photos that do not depict current safety practices were taken prior to COVID-19 public health orders and guidelines.